Teck Whye teacher who hugged PSLE students: "It’s not about passing, it’s about putting in your best effort"

Students need to be validated and encouraged.

Tanya Ong | December 03, 2018, 04:38 PM

In November, Teck Whye Primary School teacher Azlina Hassan went viral for hugging a student as he received his PSLE results.

But that student was not an exception -- every pupil in Azlina's class received kind words and a warm hug from her that day.

A hug helps to reduce anxiety

According to a report by The Straits Times, Azlina, who is 51, said that she has not forgotten how nervous she was when she collected her own PSLE results.

And unlike today, where parents usually accompany their children to collect their results, children in the past often show up alone on results day.

Seeing that most of these students were nervous to receive their results without the support of their parents, she told Channel NewsAsia that this was when she decided to start hugging her students.

"Sometimes, people forget that a simple hug can make a world of difference to a child," she said.

Has always supported her students

Azlina, who teaches foundation level English and Mathematics, has more than 29 years of experience in the education sector. `

And besides encouraging her students during the release of results, Azlina also shared that she encourages them to persevere by validating their achievements.

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, she revealed how some of her students come from troubled backgrounds, and struggle with their schoolwork.

"It's not about passing," she would tell them, but about "putting in your best effort":

“The first thing they tell me is: ‘Teacher, I’m going to fail'.

'We have been failing since Primary 1, how can you expect us to pass?’ So I always tell them that it’s not about passing, it’s about putting in your best effort. It’s not about getting your four As...

If this is your best, I accept it and I am still very proud of you.”

Culture of affirmation

Azlina, who never expected the video to go viral, highlighted that many of her colleagues in Teck Whye Primary School also hug their students on results day.

This culture of affirmation has impacted generations of students. Many students have since graduated and grown up, but have not forgotten the positive impact that their teachers have made on their lives.

To Azlina, this is an indication that they're "doing something right". She tells CNA:

“I have a pupil saying: ‘My father was a Teck Whye Primary pupil, I was a Teck Whye Primary pupil and now my daughter is going to be in Teck Whye next year.' That sense of pride, when she said that to me... I think that’s an indication that we’re doing something right.”

Top photo via TWPS Infocomm Club's Facebook.


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